BANGOR, Maine — Kyle Savage doesn’t blow away batters with his fastball, but opponents have been unable to solve the Bangor righthander so far this spring.
Savage did not give up a run for his second straight start Friday, limiting Mt. Blue of Farmington to one infield hit while leading the undefeated Rams to a 5-1 Class A baseball victory at Mansfield Stadium.
The Bangor senior co-captain, who allowed no runs on one hit over four innings during an 11-0 win at Hampden on April 23, followed that up by striking out seven and walking three in five shutout innings.
“I felt pretty good today, the arm was loose and I felt I threw harder than I did against Hampden,” said Savage. “And the curveball was working better, too. Everything was working a little bit better today.”
Savage threw 64 pitches and yielded only an infield single to the shortstop hole by Blake Hart with one out in the fifth before giving way to lefty Curtis Worcester in the sixth.
“I thought Kyle threw a little harder today,” said Bangor coach Jeff Fahey, “and as far as the pitch count he was very economical. But it was important for us to get Curtis in there because he hadn’t pitched in a while.”
Bangor needed a solid pitching effort, because the Rams’ batting order — which averaged nearly 10 hits per game in its first four victories — had its own struggles against Mt. Blue lefthander Shane Smith.
Smith yielded four earned runs while working into the sixth, allowed just six singles.
“He threw strikes and he threw well,” said Savage of Smith. “The only thing that caught us off-guard was he took a long time in his windup.”
While Bangor’s offense wasn’t dominant, it was opportunistic.
Take the first inning, when Bangor scored twice despite its only hit of the rally traveling about 20 feet from home plate.
That was a chopper down the third-base line that leadoff hitter Lonnie Hackett beat out for an infield single. Hackett then stole second and went to third on a wild pitch before No. 2 hitter Cody McInnis walked.
Jacques Larochelle drove home Hackett with a sacrifice fly to right, and McInnis scored on Devin Lyshon’s groundout to second base to give the Rams a 2-0 lead.
Bangor added two runs in the third. Jack Stacey had an infield hit, stole second and scored when Hackett singled to right-center. Hackett stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Larochelle grounded out to second.
Bangor scored its final run in the fifth as McInnis singled, reached third on a wild pitch and scored when Larochelle generated his third RBI by grounding out to shortstop.
Mt. Blue (1-4) scored its lone run in the sixth. Dylan Vining hit a leadoff single to right and stole both second and third before scoring on Clint Orcutt’s two-out single to right-center.
“We told them you’re going to have games when everything doesn’t go as you’d hope,” said Fahey. “Today was one of those days. We didn’t hit like we hoped, but the pitching was good, we played good defense and a lot of kids got to play so it was a pretty solid win.”